My friend Brad Newsham (links to his facebook page) feels strongly enough about his political stands that by himself he has gathered as many as 5,000 people to form words like "Resist" on beaches in California on multiple occasions. The parks departments at first didn't know what to do with him and were not sure they should give him a permit. Now when they see him coming they know the drill. It's the First Amendment. This last weekend he helped 1,100 people form a giant heart on a beach in response to news about groups at the other end of the political divide advocating the opposite of that elsewhere.
But Take a Knee
But there is a thing that he does quietly on his own everyday that I like a lot. The alarm in his phone is set to go off at noon everyday to remind him, wherever he is, no matter what is going on, to stop for a moment and "take a knee." When he has more time to talk about it, I want to get more of his articulation about it to post here, but I think you can understand what a humble, non-confrontational, resetting of perspective that can be midst the cacophony of our hyper-wired world, to stop, even if driving a car, get out and actually put one knee on the ground, close your eyes and bow your head. Sometimes it is for 15 or 20 seconds. Other times it only is for a couple of seconds. He says, "It breaks whatever you've got going on."
Perspective, resetting, and quiet for a moment in the middle of everyday might help on both sides of the divide.
This is the United States Institute of Peace. It is located at 2301 Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. 20037. It was built in 1984 on the last peace of land available on the mall. It is a federal project, created by our government. So it is ours.
Their website (https://www.usip.org/) says, "USIP is America’s nonpartisan institute to promote national security and global stability by reducing violent conflicts abroad. Our staff guide peace talks and advise governments; train police and religious leaders; and support community groups opposing extremism—all to help troubled countries solve their own conflicts peacefully."
I was asked seven questions about peace poles and art and creativity. The journalist who posed them to me posted the answers at this link. The questions include:
How is one of your peace poles born?
How can a peace pole benefit and function in someone’s garden? In a public space?
It's an upbeat look at more information about peace poles.
Four-foot-long translations of "May peace prevail on earth" in half inch steel for a peace pole that will be comprised of nothing but 40 translations welded together. Since this only is a prototype, it isn't stainless.
Languages shown, top to bottom, are: Yiddish (Latin alphabet version), Spanish and French
War is in headlines. Read the footnotes.